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Posts Tagged ‘gannett’

Gannett Latest Newspaper Chain To Put Up Paywalls

R.I.P. unlimited free online news. Possibly for real this time (at least from newspapers). The nation’s largest newspaper chain is said to be planning a  roll out of its paid model by the end of this year.

Forbes is reporting Gannett, the largest U.S. newspaper chain, which controls more than 80 newspapers around the country from small community papers to USA Today, apparently has plans to switch over its community papers to a tiered pay model this year. (One notable exception: USA Today.) The switch to a tiered paywall — where the first few stories per month are free — comes amid a renewed emphasis on digital-first news gathering, which has included handing out thousands of iPhones and iPads to news staffers at various properties.

From Forbes:

Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, is planning to switch over all of its 80 community newspapers to a paid model by the end of the year, it announced during an investor day held in Manhattan Wednesday.

“We will begin to restrict some access to non-subscribers,” said Bob Dickey, president of community publishing. The model is similar to the metered system adopted by The New York Times a year ago, in which online readers are able to view a limited number of pages for free each month. That quota will be between five and 15 articles, depending on the paper, said Dickey. Six Gannett papers already have a digital pay regimen in place.

This news is hardly unexpected. Not only are other major newspapers and outlets heading in this direction, but Gannett itself has been toying with this model at some of its properties for some time and started actively testing this tiered model this month.

Jim Romenesko posted the paywall FAQ customers of those test sites received in January. According to that, subscribers continue to have unfettered access to all content on all platforms.

Some Gannett Papers Test Facebook Comments, Ban Anonymous Posts

Peter Steiner's New Yorker cartoon from 1993.

The old adage, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” may hold less true soon, at least on some newspaper sites. Gannett Blog reports that some of the large chain’s U.S. papers are moving to force commenters to use their Facebook accounts to post comments instead of stand behind their anonymous user names.

This is, apparently, being tested in two Gannett markets:

  • Fort Myers News-Press: “When I am out in the community I can always count on one question: Why do you allow people to be anonymous when they comment online? Starting later this week we won’t on the stories that appear online. We will be one of two newspapers in our company to test Facebook comments. We will test it for 60 days and evaluate the results.”
  • Des Moines Register: “Starting late Wednesday, Facebook comments will replace our existing commenting system. You will have to have a Facebook account to comment, which will eliminate use of anonymous screen names.”

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